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JAN. 14, 2020

DocDigital: the innovative platform that will enable progress toward Zero Paper and save more than US$6.4 million this year

The DocDigital platform seeks to move paperwork and communications between public organizations online, enabling government services to gradually eliminate paper in official communications with the objective of modernizing and increasing operational efficiency.

The Ministry Secretary General of the Presidency has launched the DocDigital platform as part of the Digital Government program. The platform aims to move processes and communications between public organizations online. The pilot program this year alone is expected to generate savings of US$6.4 million. The idea is that the platform will enable government services to gradually eliminate paper in official communications with the objective of modernizing and increasing operational efficiency and thereby implementing the Zero Paper policy.

In essence, the DocDigital tool lets public administration converse digitally, enabling a digital document to be approved, signed and distributed digitally. The Minister Secretary General of the Presidency, Felipe Ward, highlighted, “we want to be a State that improves people’s quality of life, where bureaucracy and paperwork are not obstacles to Chileans interacting with government entities.” He added that “the US$6.4 million in savings from the DocDigital pilot plan are a very good starting point, especially considering that it only involves 8 services of the 258 institutions set to adopt the Zero Paper policy. Once all these institutions are using the new platform, we expect savings to multiply exponentially, resulting in more resources for policies that benefit the people.”

Likewise, he explained that in line with the Presidential Instructions on Digital Transformation, all administrative procedures must be digital within five years. Paper will only be used “minimally” and under exceptional circumstances.

This is a fundamental change considering that, according to data from Chile’s public procurement directorate ChileCompra, the State spends more than US$108 million annually on paper for printing and photocopying documents, in addition to folders, binders and document storage. Moreover, a 2016 Microsystem report commissioned by the Treasury Ministry showed that public employees spend between 12% and 50% of their working day managing documents, e.g., looking for, classifying, moving and processing papers, which costs Chile US$1 billion a year.

It is worth noting that the DocDigital pilot plan was launched on January 2 and involves eight institutions that will only interface with each other digitally: the Treasury Undersecretary’s Office, ChileCompra, the Budget Directorate (Dipres), the General Treasury of the Republic, the Internal Revenue Service (SII), the Civil Service, the Ministry Secretary General of the Presidency itself and the Presidency of the Republic of Chile.

The rest of the 258 central government bodies must be trained to receive digital communications from the eight aforementioned institutions as of January 31.